19.6 Micturition

Urine formed by the nephrons is ultimately carried to the urinary bladder where it is stored till a voluntary signal is given by the central nervous system (CNS).

This signal is initiated by the stretching of the urinary bladder as it gets filled with urine. In response, the stretch receptors on the walls of the bladder send signals to the CNS.

The CNS passes on motor messages to initiate the contraction of smooth muscles of the bladder and simultaneous relaxation of the urethral sphincter causing the release of urine.

The process of release of urine is called micturition and the neural mechanisms causing it is called the micturition reflex. An adult human excretes, on an average, 1 to 1.5 litres of urine per day.

The urine formed is a light yellow coloured watery fluid which is slightly acidic (pH-6.0) and has a characterestic odour. On an average, 25-30 gm of urea is excreted out per day. Various conditions can affect the characteristics of urine.

Analysis of urine helps in clinical diagnosis of many metabolic discorders as well as malfunctioning of the kidney. For example, presence of glucose (Glycosuria) and ketone bodies (Ketonuria) in urine are indicative of diabetes mellitus.

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